Saturday, February 27, 2010

Welcome Sami!!!

To the 'ORANGE CREW'!!

Meg Sailor adopted 'Sami' from the the Kirkwood Community
College's Animal Health Program.

Sami is an 9 month old Bichon/Lhasa Mix.
Is she cute or what!!

Welcome aboard little white dog!!
Congratulations MEG!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MACH 3 Kruz!!

Bill handled Kruz to his 3rd MACH
on Saturday 2/20/2010
at the TAC AKC Agility
Trial in Wentzville, MO.


It is their first MACH together and they
were both VERY EXCITED!

Kruz just wanted the cake!!
Pictured below....
(Thanks CARRIE!!)

For his 12th birthday (3/19),
Kruz will make his De-but
in Novice Preferred in Loves Park, IL
& Des Moines, IA in March.

Then off to AKC Nationals in Tulsa!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Be Postive! Show a BRIGHTER FUTURE!!

Do you ever find yourself, or your dog, struggling with a certain skill? It can be frustrating when you just don't seem to be getting anywhere. However, if you work hard, reinforce well, and stay committed, great things WILL HAPPEN!!! That's what looking for a Brighter Future means!!

I came across the story below in one of my Management articles. I thought it was a great story, and made me realize how important it is to encourage each other. I'm so thankful we have such a great group of dog people that are supportive and help one another.

As we head off to an AKC trial in MO this weekend, I'd like to take a moment to wish BEST OF LUCK and LOTS OF FUN to Mary Beth/Titan and Renee/Belle as they try out some USDAA for the first time this weekend. Also, GO Wendie/Dervish as they earn that last Grand Prix Qualifier!!

Now for the story....

This is the story of two men, both seriously ill, who occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene. One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn and look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such wonderful things outside this window when there was nothing there. The nurse said she didn't know. She just knew the man was blind and could not even see the wall. "Perhaps," she said, "he just wanted to encourage you."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Training in SMALL PLACES!!

(43 Obstacle Training Course!)

People whine because they don't have enough
space in which to train their dogs.

Don, is one SMART GUY!
Why on earth would you finish a
basement when you could turn it
into your own TRAINING BUILDING!!

Don continues to update and add to his
this training sequence.

Bill set it up for me in the building,
I'm sure Don's basement is MUCH warmer!
I won't bother you with the flip footage,
but I'm not sure we made SCT!
Not to mention, I happened to get

Luckily, I LOVE Front Crosses!

Now, Tina, Don's Terv, doesn't
work all 43 at once. She will break the
sequence in half and works a section about 4 times
a day. That's 86 + Obstacles each day!
For Apple Sauce!!

Don and Tina are a wonderful team!
They are such a joy to watch!
I can't wait to see them run
next weekend in Wentzville!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Understanding Snooker

Snooker can be intimidating!
I’ll admit it!!

However, once you figure out how it works, it’s LOTS OF FUN!
I’ll try my best to explain it, but I think it’s
easiest to learn…..if you JUST DO IT!

Here’s our Advanced Snooker course from Saturday.

(Double click on it to make it larger)

A Snookers course can have 3 – 5 red (R) jumps.
(This one had 3)
These ‘RED’ jumps are used in your ‘opening’ sequence to
accumulate additional points.
You can only take each RED jump once.

Your closing sequence is always numbered 2-7 and is worth 27 points.
(2+3+4+5+6+7 = 27)
This sequence of obstacles can be ‘combinations’, meaning there
could be two jumps together worth 5 points.
As in the example here there’s a 5A-5B combo.
The two jumps must be taken in order to get the 5 points.
Depending on the judge, your numbered obstacles can be
taken in either direction after a RED jump.
In the closing however, they must be taken in the correct order.

You always need a minimum of 37 points and must be under
Course Time in order to earn a Snooker Leg.

So as you look at the map, you try to figure out how you’re
going to earn enough points and stay under time.

You must start with a RED jump (worth one point), then take another
(numbered – non red obstacle) for additional points.
Then another RED jump followed by a pointed obstacle.
“IF’ you drop a RED jump, you must proceed to another RED jump
without taking any other pointed obstacle

On judge explained it as;
By taking a RED jump you are asking permission to take
another numbered jump. If you drop the RED jump,
you need to go to another RED in order to ask Permission again.
Once you’ve completed all your RED jumps, followed by a pointed jump,
you can run the finishing sequence 2-7.
You always want to be sure to sprint across the line on order
to stop your time!

You can start anywhere behind the ‘imaginary start line’.
For Seeker’s run, we did a RED jump, and then the 4 point weaves.
RED jump, followed by the 5 point jump combo.
RED jump followed by the 7 point weaves.
(no refusals, just loss of time)
Then the closing 2-7.
(You'll here the judge calling out
your numbers earned)

Seeker took a bonus RED jump on the way out.
That doesn’t count for anything, it just happened
to be the best way to get him across the line quickly.

Snooker does take a lot of ‘come into hand’ skill.
If you have a dog that likes to work ‘away’,
it can be more challenging.

You can see the complete rules at:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pumpkin Games

First you need a FROZEN PUMPKIN!

Not a problem.
We still have some from the Fall leftover.

Then you pull it toward you,
and push it into the snow.

Then you get your mouth around it.
Yes, his bottom jaw is UNDER IT!

Then you bat it around awhile.
"Sink" it into the snow again......

Dig it out.......

Repeat as Often as NECESSARY!!!
Or as time allows.......

I'm not sure he'll be able to play
Soccer with the Neighbor Boys this Spring!
Unless they use Pumpkins of course!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Seeker has Two More Brothers and A Sister!!

Stormi and Kix are the proud parents
of three New PUPPIES!
(Black and White)
Two Boys and a Girl.
Born Tuesday 2/09/2010
(the one to the left is the girl)

Mom and Puppies are doing fine.
Dad probably doesn't care all that much!

Seeker is VERY excited to have
new siblings to pair up with at
future USDAA Trails!

Well, at least I think he's excited.
I honestly don't think he understands any of it.
I think I said "baby" and he ran and
got a toy. Hum....not very promising!

All GREAT things come in Threes!!
Seeker was also a litter of 3.
Two boys and a girl.
(pictured below)

Seeker was obviously the BIG puppy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

USDAA - Lawrence, KS - Feb 2010

Lawrence in February…….WHAT!!!!

Did Bill NOT point out the trip to Wentzville two years ago where:

Terry, Barbara, Carrie and I drove white knuckled home through an

Ice Storm on Super Bowl Sunday? wasn't quite that bad!

Okay, so I really wanted that last Qualifier in Grand Prix for the USDAA Nationals.

As you know, there are only so many weekends in a year,

and for many of them there are conflicted with other venues and other goals.

So….off to Lawrence we went.

The trip down Friday afternoon wasn’t too bad.

It got a bit wet (rain/snow mix) about 60 miles from our destination.

We stopped by at the trial site to ‘secure’ a crating space.

Off to the hotel, that’s lot was in the process of being plowed after the 2-3” of snow they’d gotten.

On the way we drove by the “Village Witch”, it’s a shop, not a person! G

Someday I really do want to stop in there and look around.

Right now the road is torn up all around it and by the time we’re done running it’s closed.

Lawrence interior roads really need some SERIOUS work!

You could loose a large dog in some of those pot holes! YIKES!

Our “Team Iowa” included Wendie and Dervish, Laura and Toss, along with Seeker and I.

Bill was our official film director/crew.

Carol and Shenna (MN) were also there with Seeker’s relatives,

½ Sister Pirate, litter Sister Shiver and Cousin Rio.

We all had a pretty good weekend.

The MN crew Qualified for the Team event for Nationals on Friday.


Seeker and Dervish both picked up a couple Advanced Standard Q’s.

Derv got a much needed Starters Snooker Q, under his 3rd judge, to earn his AD!!


Seeker earned an Advanced Snooker Q, and an Advanced Pairs Q running with Sister Shiver!


Toss earned a Starter Standard leg, along with a lovely Q in Starters Jumpers!

Both Dervish (1st place) and Seeker (5th Place) achieved a Qualifier in Steeple Chase on Saturday,

earning the right to ‘run for the money’ on Sunday!!

Dervish took an ‘off course of death’ on Sunday to eliminate their team from the dough.

Tammy over handled Seeker in a couple spots, but ended up in 6th place and won $7!!!

Hum, maybe I should start listing Seeker’s earnings under his name like the do with race horses!! VBG

Better that than the entry fees!

Cousin Rio won the Steeple Chase and the BIG BUCKS!! YIPPEE!!

Seeker also got his Grand Prix Qualifier,

which totally made the trip worthwhile.

I learned a lot!

Seeker did very well and Qualified 7 of the 9 times he ran.

The two he didn’t Q on were my fault!! I

know people say that it is always the handlers fault…but these OBVIOUSLY were MINE!

We had the most lovely Adv Gamblers run going and then instead of sticking

with my game plan I went for more points via a tunnel that took him across

the ring in the opposite direction of the gamble.

Right as he entered, the buzzer sounded and our 16 seconds to the gamble began.

We got the gamble, (tunnel, weaves and two jumps), but were .66 seconds over time.

Yes, I’m STILL kicking myself.

In Jumpers, I pulled him off a jump that I thought he was committed to.

Then just flicked him back over and he dropped it. MY FAULT! O

n the plus side, all my ‘come into hand’ work as has been paying off on some tighter turns.

We still have room to improve, but it’s getting better.

I need to DRIVE THE DOG for speed,

and not worry about the Q!

Here are some of our runs from this weekend!

(Please note in the 2nd and 3rd run Wendie and I were BOTH committed to getting the

front cross after the blue tunnel. You just gotta MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Wendie was planning a blind, she had it and at the last second was concerned about her body!

Thus, she threw in a late front cross. She GOT' HER DONE!)


The trip home was a bit ‘Western' at times; with snow/rain mix most of the way.

It only took about 40 minutes longer than normal.

Luckily, Bill drove…listened to the Super Bowl on the radio.

I read a book and kept my eye on the depth of the ditches.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Time To Train

“I don’t have time to train”

How many times have you heard that as an instructor,
or have said it yourself as a dog trainer?

Maybe we need to ‘define training’.

For some it means loading your dog and treats, toys, etc into the van
and heading to a formal class or training facility.
For others, it might involve heading to your backyard,
or a certain room in your own home.
Is this really the only time you train?

Sometimes I think we forget that we are actually
training our dogs every moment we are with them.
In some cases they are training US!

Think about this:

You are sitting at the table and your dog is sitting next to you drooling.
You give him a bit of your food.

What have you just ‘taught’ him?

You are at a dog trial and you take your dog out to potty.
He drags you to the nearest post.
You let him hike his leg on it.

What have you taught him?

You open your front door at home and your dogs charge past you ….
‘making a break for it’.

What have they learned?

There are so many opportunities to train your dog.
The ones listed above are simple ‘impulse control’ exercises.

You want a piece of food, lay down at my feet while I eat
and ‘maybe’ I’ll reward you. Maybe, better yet, ‘go to your bed’
while we eat and I’ll reward you for that.

If your dog is dragging you to the nearest ‘green space’ or ‘vertical post’,
do some ‘punishment walking’. This means simply
(for some of us – Martha, please don’t try this!),
walking backwards in order to get the dog with you again.
The ‘punishment’ is they don’t get there as fast.
Walk together to the potty area.
When you get to the edge of the grass,
ask for a sit or down, then release them to ‘do their thing’.

Here’s another “misnomer”;
Male dogs must have something vertical in order to relieve themselves.
Do you have a dog that likes to mark ‘ring gates’, ‘door ways’,
‘weave poles’, ‘jump uprights’, ‘sides of buildings’?

If you don’t like this behavior,
then why would you reinforce it by looking for
something vertical for him to ‘go’ on?

Letting your dogs out your back door to ‘potty’ or exercise
can turn into a 3 ring circus in a multiple dog household.
Why not require that they sit while you open the door.
If they break position, close the door; and they don’t get to go out.

After they’ve learned to wait to be released,
practice releasing them one at a time out the door.
This is a great one for impulse control.
Form your own criteria; for instance,
“He who breaks first goes LAST!”

Training doesn’t necessarily involve formal behaviors, such as
- “contact training “or “weave poles”.
Training also involves behaviors needed for every day living.
Skills that make our dogs more enjoyable to live with.

If you don’t care about any of the above, that’s perfectly fine too.

Just be sure you’re not losing your temper
over a behavior you’ve been reinforcing all along.

Monday, February 1, 2010


HIT Kalista's Icebreaker CD RA WWD

Nicole Bearman and Breaker attended an Obedience trial in Janesville, WI today.
It was actually 2 AKC trials in one day.
Breaker was entered in Open A Obedience and scored 195 and First Place in the first trial.

In the second trial he out did himself with a 198 1/2 with First Place and HIGH IN TRIAL!!!!

We are so very proud of Breaker (and Nicole of course) and this wonderful accomplishment.
I suppose Nicole did do some of the training, oh and paid the entry fee.
Breaker just read the rule book and played along.

One leg to go for his CDX!!

Way to go BREAKER!!! .....